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ruthie
26-10-2008, 07:39 AM
I have made a new rabbit friend at weight watchers and she has a netherland dwarf female not sure how old she is.
I am asking for advice because the rabbit Pepper is very aggresive towards her owner Laura and no one else in the household. Pepper charges at Lauras feet scratches with her front paws, goes for her hands when she is feeding her and has now started to bite. She is an indoor rabbit and gets free range in the evening.

When I met Laura about 6 wks ago and she told me about Pepper I advised her to get her speyed, which happened about two weeks ago. I have told Laura that it will take a while for Peppers hormones to disperse but she still keeps attacking her. She has now had to have stitches in her lip from the last attack and I am running out of advice to offer so just wondered if anyone else has any ideas please?? Laura has said if Pepper hasn't improved by Christmas she will have to think about getting rid of her:cry:

Tamsin
26-10-2008, 07:57 AM
What's her feeding routine, the exact trigger? I'm guessing it's when she puts her hand near Peppers food bowl? That's a common trigger for aggression in female rabbits. Two options... depending how brave she feels :) 1. Two food bowls, put the full bowl down and whilst she's busy eating take the empty one from the previous day away. That way your less likely to get bitten.

Other option... more work but also address the problem more. Take the food bowl away completely. She gets hay 24/7 as normal but anything else is only hand fed. If she wants yummy pellets she has to take them nicely. It will also help them bond as her owner coming near becomes a good thing. No pellets when she's biting your ankles only when she's sitting calmly.

I'd also suggest a thick pair of wellies. I imagine at the moment Pepper is winning. She charges and her owner backs away to avoid getting bitten. Pepper thinks its a winning tactic and repeats it. With a thick pair of wellies you can stand there and ignore the attack and Pepper learns it doesn't work :)

Tam

Muppet2
26-10-2008, 12:48 PM
And oven gloves!

Lu_x
26-10-2008, 01:37 PM
Do you know what diet she is on? Whether it's high in protein?

She could always try using Serene UM Rabbit drops, its supposed to help anxious or aggressive rabbits? I've never used it though, sorry.

I imagine it's still due to the little chaps hormones and maybe he's now learnt he can get away with it and that shes afraid around him?! :?

bunlover
26-10-2008, 02:49 PM
after the 4 weeks is up hopefulyl some improvement will be made but not nessaceriyly in learned behaviour as this is now a routine. i agree with trying the 2 bowls technique... i have the same problem with dora a nethie cross speyed adn a Loverly bun but with food is a momnster hand feeding is fine and if i put the pellets into the hutch i have to stroke her first and continue to distract her by stroking to put the bowl in else she growls and lunges at me. some people find bonding with a relaxed submissive male will help as their behaviour rubs off. try more stimulating types of feeding such a s a treat ball with her pellets in or a wodden blck with holes drilled in it and things such as veg stuck into the holes. this is good as breaks bordem and takes the attention away from the food and ont o the challenge.

ruthie
27-10-2008, 06:43 AM
Thanks for advice guys, will print it off and give it to Laura and hope she takes your advice